Over the past ten years, Tehran-born and Los Angeles-based Tala Madani has developed a signature practice centered on playful yet provocative representations of men. Her paintings, drawings, and stop-motion animations—characterized by loose, expressive brushwork—combine a gestural figuration with mature and often disturbing subject matter. These bracingly deadpan works satirize conventional notions of masculinity, recasting the male figure in various scenarios that both mock virility and redistribute the dynamics of power. Bright pastel color fields form the ground for base group scenes in which balding, rotund, and mustachioed middle-aged men blindly follow each other in circles, undergo interrogation, and perform various humiliating acts. Unflinchingly scatological and abject, Madani’s works encourage a larger consideration of authority, desire, and shame.
Tala Madani (b. 1981, Tehran, Iran) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Selected group exhibitions include The Great Acceleration, 2014 Taipei Biennial, Taiwan; Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; 5th Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech, Morocco; PS1, New York; and the 2009 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website